The Arizona Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that an initiative measure to make big changes to Arizona's primary election system will appear on the state's November ballot.
The ballot measure would allow primary election voters to vote for any candidate regardless of party affiliation. Also, the top-two finishers would advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation.
Judge John Rea of Maricopa County Superior Court ruled in favor of initiative supporters late last week. They argued that elections officials wrongly threw out valid petition signatures.
A separate ruling by Rea rejects a countersuit filed by opponents. It said the measure should be kept off the ballot because of alleged election-law violations involving petition circulators. [Click here and here to read the two court documents in full (PDF)]
An appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court is possible, but Rea's rulings are a blow to opponents.
"This is concerning 6,000 petitions circulated illegally and now we're going to be voting on a constitutional amendment," Jennifer Wright with Verify the Vote Arizona said.
"For those who like the system just the way it is, right now, that there's this level of hyperpartisanship that is gripping our governing process and sometimes bringing out government institutions almost to a standstill, then clearly, they should vote against this initiative," said Joe Yuhas with the Open Government-Open Elections Committee.
Copyright 2012CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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